Layer-by-layer assembled membranes with immobilized porins

Sebastián Hernández, Cassandra Porter, Xinyi Zhang, Yinan Wei, Dibakar Bhattacharyya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


New and advanced opportunities are arising for the synthesis and functionalization of membranes with selective separation, reactivity, and stimuli-responsive behavior. One such advancement is the integration of bio-based channels in membrane technologies. By a layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly of polyelectrolytes, outer membrane protein F trimers (OmpF) or "porins" from Escherichia coli with central pores ∼2 nm in diameter at their opening and ∼0.7 × 1.1 nm at their constricted region are immobilized within the pores of poly(vinylidene fluoride) microfiltration membranes, in contrast to traditional ruptured lipid bilayer or vesicle processes. These OmpF-membranes demonstrate selective rejection of non-charged organics over ionic solutes, allowing the passage of up to 2 times more salts than traditional nanofiltration membranes starting with rejections of 84% for 0.4 to 1.0 kDa organics. The presence of charged groups in OmpF-membranes also leads to pH-dependent salt rejection through Donnan exclusion. These OmpF-membranes also show exceptional durability and stability, delivering consistent and constant permeability and recovery for over 160 h of operation. Characterization of the solutions containing OmpF and the membranes was conducted during each stage of the process, including detection by fluorescence labelling (FITC), zeta potential, pH responsiveness, flux changes, and rejection of organic-inorganic solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56123-56136
Number of pages14
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number88
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

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